Beijing Day 1: Fish Tray and Dessert

After a nap in the afternoon from a long tiring flight, I was refreshed and ready for more food adventures. Ben wanted me to rest some more but I was just too excited. I did not come all the way to Beijing to just sleep!

Ben brought me to the Oriental Mall at the south end of Wangfujing for dinner. It was a good idea going there because there are so many restaurants and all of them look so good to me. And they were all packed with customers which tells me that the food must be good.

It was so hard to decide … Sichuanese? Mala Pot? Hairy Crabs? Macau? Cantonese? Ben wanted me to choose one but I don’t know. I want to try every single one!

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Ben actually knows what he wants me to try but he wanted to bring me around the mall and the section called Gourmet Street. The mall is huge. The length of the building spans two subway stations.

The restaurant that we went to specializes in food served in a tray. It’s all in one tray kind of food.

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I like that they serve sunflower seeds for customer to snack on while you wait for your dishes. It takes a while for the food to be prepared and so it is quite common for these sort of restaurants to serve snacks like these.

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We opted for a Fish Tray. The fish tray is pricier than the other meat. It was RMB210 (about $35) which was expensive for Beijing’s standards. BTW, what do you call this type of dish/restaurant in Chinese? Anyone know?

The fish is charged by weight while other meat like frog leg is fixed price. A fish is at least 2 kg. There were lots of stuff in the tray like seaweed, mushrooms, peppers, wood ears, tofu, etc. These are cheap extras that you can add to the fish tray.

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It was spicy and numbing hot. For those who loves Sichuanese Cuisine, this is something they will love. The tray was heated with some charcoal at the bottom. So, the food is always hot.

This is something you need at least two people to eat, sharing style.

We had tried this before. The only place in Vancouver that serves a similar dish is at the …Traditional Chinese BBQ House on Kingsway. But that place had closed down already. Does anyone know where else in Vancouver you could get this type of tray fish?

After dinner, Ben brought me to explore Wangfujing (next post).

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After exploring Wangfujing, Ben brought me for dessert. He knows I like sweet dessert and he knows I cannot resist it even though I had eaten a lot already today.

We stopped by a Hong Kong style dessert place. I can’t remember the name but from the looks of it, this is a branch of a famous dessert ship in Hong Kong.

Ben ordered the above Mango dessert which has some mochi and tapioca pearls. He likes his dessert cold.

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I ordered a warm dessert soup of sesame and walnuts. They were creamy.

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We also shared some durian pastry. The filing has chunks of durian and wrap in a soft pastry. I enjoyed it. All the above cost RMB56 (less than $10).  I noticed that most of the restaurants here collect payment upon ordering, not at the end of the meal.

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Something new here is that you can ask for an official receipt where there is a area where you can scratch and see if you are a lucky winner of cash. I do not really know what is the rational behind it but I think it could be a way to make sure that restaurants do not under declare their sales.

Ben said that his friends has seen people winning 3000 RMB ($500 Canadian) but all we ever scratched so far is only “Thanks”.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Kevin

    Also, wonder how much that fish would cost here? Definitely would be more than the $22 you paid for it at the Traditional Skewer place.

  2. Betty

    When I was in Beijing had hotpot and notice nobody drink the soup in it after done eating food they all left it in every tables. Not like in Hong Kong and Taiwan people like the soup.

  3. Looks like you are having a great start to your food adventure! The durian dessert form factor used to be quite popular with some bakeries here in California, but they used other fruits and some sponge cake for the filling and mochi to wrap the filling.

    If you happen to visit the Oriental Mall again try out Yi Pin Xiao Long (my review is here: http://eattraveleat.blogspot.com/2009/02/yi-pin-xiao-long-beijing-wangfujing.html) which has some pretty good Xiao Long Bao.

    1. Ben

      I don’t recall seeing a Yi Pin Xiao Long in Oriental Mall but I’ll have a closer look the next time I have dinner there. I was looking over your site for Beijing related posts but found only two. Is there more posts on Beijing? BTW, do you know of any Beijing area food blog? Written in English of course.

      1. I’ve visited Beijing several times but haven’t really gotten around to blogging about most of the places since it’s been quite a while (was back in the time when I did not blog). This is the one with the Hyatt attached to it right? If so, the restaurant is located in a corner if it’s still there, next to a laundry and some other place. Breadtalk isn’t too far from it. I do have some information about Beijing hotels but that is on Tripadvisor and not my blog.

        Lots of the malls have good food though, especially in the food courts! Sorry, I don’t know of any Beijing area food blogs yet. Do check a website called Openrice while you are in China though, it may help you find some restaurants (remember to click the english button).

        1. Ben

          Yup. Oriental is the one with Hyatt attached. Hmmm … maybe I will walk over to Oriental for dinner today. Ben

  4. kangxiu

    The fish tray is like poon choi?

    1. Ben

      Hi Kangxiu: The fish tray is not like Poon Choi at all. Poon Choi is a very much Southern Chinese kind of dish but this fish tray is Sichuanese. It is really spicy with lots of tongue numbing peppercorns. Ben

  5. Fay

    I think it is “Kao Yu” 烤鱼.

    1. Ben

      Hi Fay: I think you are correct. Thanks! I image google using the word ” 烤鱼” and it came up with pictures of fish in trays. 🙂 Ben

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